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Open Gardens in the Camden and District Area

Date Location
3 June 2018 70 Gloucester Crescent, NW1
5 August 2018 70 Gloucester Crescent, NW1
More local Open Gardens can be found on the Hampstead Gardeners Web Site
More local Open Gardens can be found on the Islington Gardeners Web Site

70 Gloucester Crescent, Camden, London, NW1 7EG
Lucy Gent
Sunday 3 June (2:00-5:30pm).
Admission £3.50 for NGS
Children free.
Plants for sale
Sunday 5 August (2:30-5:30pm).
Admission £3.50 for NGS
Children free.
Plants for sale
Directions Between Regent's Park & Camden Town tube station. Tube: Camden Town 2 mins, Mornington Crescent 10 mins. Metered parking in Oval Rd.
Additional Notes Visitors welcome by arrangement April to October groups 30 max. Admission £3.50, children free.
Here is an oasis in Camden's urban density, where resourceful planting outflanks challenges of space and shade. June open day alongside other distinctive local gardens while an August opening shows how wonderful the month can be in a town garden.

Once upon a time Mrs Charles Dickens lived at 70 Gloucester Crescent, with its little square patch of garden in front, a triangular piece to the side and a strip at the back. But the garden's history effectively began when John and Helen Hulton bought the house in the 1950s (their solicitor advised them not to, it was such a dicey area!) My husband and I moved in at the end of 1993, inheriting a garden with many good features, including trees around the perimeter, a pond (with toads) and a wisteria adding April-May glamour around the front door. We continued the Hultons' work, with notably an 8 m. diameter paved circle in the sunniest part, a path that links the different areas, and greatly enriched planting. Like many London gardens, there is rather a lot of shade, from the adjacent terrace as well as trees, which need frequent pruning. But such site problems are a spur to creation. Edge-of-woodland is a very fruitful zone for flowers, especially in the spring. Paradoxically, from the 1990s I have been in contact with a garden in the Var, near Toulon (see 'Orves' online), and am a convert to Mediterranean plants, with their varied leaf colour and splendid structure. This also encourages me to be bold with colour associations, foliage patterns and textures. But the success of the garden lies in strong structure, of hard and soft materials, even if the latter - the plants - break the hard edges. Climate change, and Camden Town's microclimate, mean that salvias enrich the garden until the frosts. August is an exciting time in the garden, with brilliant colours, and tender foliage at its most luxuriant. Containers include Jenifer Jones's dramatic black garden pots. Smaller containers I move around to create seasonal interest. Recently, a friend made a plant theatre in an unused doorway, and we have created a small shingle garden at the front, very experimental - but Beth Chatto and Derek Jarman are great inspirations.

The thinking behind the garden is contained within Lucy Gent's book, Great Planting (1993), and her account of how the Hultons' garden is blended with our 1990s initiatives can be found in Gardens Illustrated, Feb-March 1997, pp. 44-49.

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Last Updated 4th February 2018
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